Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
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Understanding processes in the coastal ocean is very challenging and very important. People are closely tied to the coastal ocean economically, environmentally, and socially. We impact the ocean environment by our diverse activities of resource extraction, recreation, and dumping. The ocean environment impacts us through diverse processes such as sediment and pollutant transport, anomalous ocean/atmosphere phenomena, harmful algal blooms, and natural variation in fisheries. The array of coastal ocean processes and our interaction with them across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales creates tremendous complexity. We seek to enter that complexity and to extract knowledge that can not only guide environmental decision making, but also lead the ocean science community in the study of oceanic processes across disciplinary boundaries. Advancing this science requires diverse yet integrated methods of environmental sensing and merging of observational and theoretical approaches.

Coastal Processes Activities | Back to top

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Elkhorn Slough Nitrogen Case Study

This activity uses realtime data from the MBARI LOBO ocean observatory project to introduce students to marine chemistry, environmental science and oceanography.
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Upwelling Case Study

This online activity guides students through an investigation to discover whether high Pacific Sardine landings are correlated with strong upwelling in Monterey Bay.
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The Blue Mud Shrimp Mystery

The ghosts of Halloween are past, but the mystery of these zombie shrimp will help students learn about the effects of invasive species on ecosystems.

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Mystery Spill Investigators

This activity provides an opportunity for students to use various resources including hands-on lab, vector analysis and a case study to determine what caused the massive bird death in Monterey Bay.

Coastal Processes in the news | Back to top

San Jose Mercury News: (04/23/07)
Group hopes to restore So. Cal. surf spot: Area lost waves, beachfront when oil pier was torn down

San Mateo County Times—Inside Bay (04/19/07)
Mapping project guides policy: 33 percent of sea floor in state waters already charted

USA Today: (04/18/07)
Marine energy can be forecast

NOAA Magazine : (04/17/07)
California sea floor survey sheds new light on big waves

Web Resources | Back to top

MBARI—Coastal Ocean Processes Group
This section of the MBARI Web site introduces some of the projects involving dynamic coastal processes, as well as some of the scientists who are working on them.

MBARI—OASIS Mooring Data page
This site provides access to real-time data from MBARI’s two offshore moorings, as well as links to satellite data.  The “Quick Look Plots” link connects viewers to graphic representation of raw data from the past seven days, while the “Live Access Server” gives viewers the chance to select their own data for analysis.

NOAA Ocean Explorer—Sanctuary Quest
Join NOAA scientists and educators as they explore the US Pacific coast in this extensive expedition to conduct research, exploration, and monitoring activities within and adjacent to the system of national marine sanctuaries within this region.

Scripps Coastal Data Information Program
This site provides access to current coastal conditions along the California coast, as well as archived (raw and plotted) wind, wave and temperature data from buoys all along the Pacific coast.

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Last updated: Jul. 16, 2013